Letter of Introduction of Zacheus Van Ornum

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Letter of Introduction of Zacheus Van Ornum
by Justus Steinberger

A letter of introduction given by the commander of the U.S. Army located at Walla Walla, Washington Territory on August 11th, 1862.


The bearer of this, Zachias Van Orman the brother of Alexis Van Orman, who with his wife and oldest son was massacred in 1860 by the Upper Banhocks, a port of the Snake Indians, near old Fort Boise. He goes out tomorrow to overtake you command with another person familiar with the country in which the murder took place. Four children of Alexis Van Orman were at the time of the massacre taken prisoner by these Indians, and are still in their hands. They have been seen by the person alluded to and are known to both him and the uncle who carries this to you.

The sole object that takes out Mr. Van Orman is to recover the children prisoners, and learning of your expedition he has applied to me to enlist your cooperation in his views. Believing that your instructions will permit you to give him this assistance in this purpose, I have earnestly to recommend this gentleman to your consideration and your aid in the recovery of the prisoners. Mr. Van Orman in his relationship with these children has much interest in the recovery of them, and will be able to give you valuable information that may lead to this end.

(Colonel Justus Steinberger)